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Ethics Issues

Future Fridays: Who Will Be Legal Ethics’ Carl Malamud?

August 9, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Looks like ABA Legal Rebel,  Carl Malamud, leader of the “free law movement” is at it again. This time, reports the Washington Post, Malamud has been busy posting building codes that govern at his website, PublicResource.org. Trouble is, the building codes — enacted by state and local law — incorporate industry-developed standards which are protected […]

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Real Life Legal: Opposing Counsel Throw Up Barriers to Unbundled Services

July 5, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

(Note – I spoke too soon in my earlier post – but I had to get this off my chest!) This past February 2013, the ABA passed this Resolution to encourage practitioners  (presumably solos and pre-paid providers, since those committees co-sponsored the resolution) to provide unbundled legal services.  No doubt, most ardent proponents of unbundled […]

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New Practice Area for Lawyers: Be A Privilege Shield

April 2, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

The ABA Journal reports on a new practice trend for lawyers: acting as  privilege shield. As hacker attacks increase, companies are turning to lawyers to assist with initial investigations. While presumably lawyers bring substantive knowledge to the table and can help companies assess potential liability, they offer an even more valuable benefit: privilege.  Many companies […]

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Techno-powered Ethical Oversight for Lawyers – What Do You Think?

February 12, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Last month, Docracy , a slick  form-sharing platform launched a  Terms of Service  (TOS) tracker that monitors the TOS at over 900 social media sites.  Docracy’s new tool (which you can subscribe via  RSS feed ) is indispensable whether you’re a lawyer reliant on sites like Facebook or Twitter to market your practice or who […]

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Should the Bars Get Help from Yelp?

October 25, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

When it comes to social media, many bar disciplinary bodies have expressed reservations about testimonials.  Some states permit lawyers to post testimonials on their websites only with prominent disclaimers, while others impose a duty on lawyers to monitor third-party sites like Avvo or LinkedIn where testimonials might crop up. Though testimonials can potentially be deceptive […]

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To the ABA – Tear Down the Pay Wall that Keeps Ethics Opinions From Seeing the Light Of Day (Sign My Change.org petition)

October 19, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

If you thought that aggressive enforcement of copyright was only for the RIAA, think again.  The ABA is just as intent about enforcing copyright interests in its ethics opinions. But whether you agree with the RIAA’s tactics or not, at least its copyright enforcement activity is intended to protect RIAA’s constituents; artists, musicians and record […]

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Social Media and Lawyers’ Duty To Report

September 19, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

By now, you may have heard via Simple Justice or  Legal Ethics Forum about the news accounts  of the public defender who lost her job after posting a photo of her client’s leopard-print briefs on her Facebook page along with a caption suggesting that the underwear was the client’s family’s idea of proper court attire.   […]

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Solos at the Second [Circuit]: The Battle over the Constitutionality of NY Jud. Code Sec. 470 Continues

April 25, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

I’m fast learning that lawyers’ can’t just act as advocates in defending rights or effecting change in the law; sometimes, we’ve got to play the role of litigant. As I’ve posted previously, I’m defending the First Amendment not as an attorney but as a defendant and client. And now, I’m an amicus along with a […]

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The NY State Bar Has a Mobile App for Ethics. Why Not the ABA or Other States?

January 17, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Lawyers are obligated to abide by ethics rules at all times – and thanks to the New York State Bar Association , fulfilling that obligation is easier than it’s ever been with a new mobile app that’s available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry. As a New York licensed lawyer myself, I’ve already downloaded the […]

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First Amendment Challenge to Restriction on Lawyer’s Blog Likely to Flounder – And Bring Other Blogs Down With It

October 10, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

As the saying goes, bad facts make bad law. And there’s going to be some very bad law for lawyer blogs indeed if Virginia small firm lawyer Horace Hunter loses his First Amendment challenge to the Virginia Bar’s attempt to require the firm to include certain disclaimers on its blog. Don’t get me wrong – […]

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